India’s first international conference on ‘Managing Health Communication’ concludes at MICA

CoolAvenues Newswire | February 15,2014 08:47 pm IST

India’s first International Communication Management Conference (ICMC 2014), on ‘Managing Health Communication’ concluded on Friday at Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad (MICA), India's premier Communications Management Institute..

ICMC 2014 brought together healthcare providers, communication professionals, academia, donor agencies, marketing experts, policy makers and activists all under one roof.
 

Mr. PVRN Iyer, Managing Trustee at The India Sight Screeners' Foundation who was invited as the Chief Guest, lauded MICA’s initiative to organize such a conference. He noted, “The development in medical science has led to longevity of life and India has found answers to many dreadful diseases. However, communication will play a major role to communicate the treatment available to many disorders across our country. Despite the availability of medical facilities, 80-85% of blind people in India could have been treated had proper communication reached them. This percentage is hardly 5% in developed economies, only due to non-availability of treatment and not lack of appropriate communication”.
 

Dr. Nagesh Rao, President & Director of MICA, stated “This conference is a dream come true for MICA in its endeavor of creating not only corporate leaders but also professionals dedicated to development communication, social issues and healthcare communication. In this direction, MICA has undertaken several initiatives to improve the health of Gujarat such as rural immersion program; MICAvaani- a community radio station which invites villages in the vicinity to participate and share their problems; CCC students spent significant amount of time with District Development Officers, understanding issues such as malnutrition, sanitation, etc and creating content to amplify these issues. Similarly, Election Commission had asked MICA students to create communication urging people to register and vote.”
 

The inauguration was followed by a ‘Pharmaceutical Industry Panel’ comprising Dr. Shivang Swaminarayan, Healwell, Kalol and Dr. Manjul Joshipura, VP Medical Services, Cadila Pharmaceuticals as key speakers. The post lunch session discussed ‘Health Behavior & Health Education: Theory, Research and Practice’ where Prof. Srividya Ramasubramanian, Associate Professor, Texas A&M University, USA presented paper on ‘Communication and Holistic Health: Theoretical Approaches’, Ms. Sunaina Batra, Ph.D Scholar, Lady Irwin College, Delhi presented on ‘When incentives strengthen health communication: An insight into how incentive theory of motivation is catalyzing safe motherhood behavior’ and ‘Communication at grassroots: Empowering health workers, promoting safe motherhood’, Ms. Nishu Chaudhry, Delhi spoke on ‘Human Resource Development for Health Communication: An Indian Initiative’ and Prof. Ruchi Gaur, Assistant Professor, Lady Irwin College, Delhi – spoke on ‘Ensuring the Survival of the Girl Child: How can Communication Strategies Help?’. The final session revolved around ‘Surrogacy: Past, present and future’ where Dr. Nayna Patel, Obstetrician, Gynecologist, Medical Director, Akansha Infertility and IVF Clinic, Anand interacted with two surrogates and an intended set of parents moderated by Prof. Saumya Pant, Adjunct Faculty, MICA.
 

Day 2 of the ICMC 2014 started with a media panel discussion on “Role of media and films in making a healthier India”. The media panel comprised Rahul Bose, actor and activist, Dr. Sumit Ghoshal, Managing Editor- Healthcare Executive, Prof. Srividya Ramasubramanian and Shalini Anand, Principal Health Correspondent, CNN IBN. Rahul Bose cleared the myth that films alone cannot address the challenges of healthcare in India as its penetration is only 7%. He said, “The consumption of print media, television, radio and internet is highly skewed in India. Communication through radio and television has the potential to win the game due to their better reach. Social media can further enhance this communication. Issues such as sanitation, malnutrition, female infanticide, etc need to be addressed at grassroots level. He further added, “A contest akin to reality shows can be initiated, wherein 104 villages can compete for the ‘best village award’ based on certain predetermined parameters. The assessment of these villages should be done over a period of one year, where local community engagement will happen given people’s excitement about their own progress and that all their hard work pays off.”
 

The latter half of the day witnessed the following sessions:
 

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